Meet Melissa of Meow Kapow, here is a bit…
This weeks featured recycled crafter is Tina Frantz of Tina Frantz Designs, she makes handcrafted purses from recycled upholstery samples and remnants. Her designs are beautiful and eco friendly! She is a wonderful friend of mine that I have sold at craft shows with many times, enjoy her heartfelt interview and get to know her a little more…
When did you first get into crafting, was it in childhood or later in life, and what types of crafting do you focus on currently?
When I was in High School I started doing theatre and was the head of the Prop Crew. We made elaborate headdresses and beautiful silk-dyed kites for the King and I, shields and swords for the Man of La Mancha, and arch-type masks for The Caucasian Chalk Circle… I definitely learned to exercise lots of creativity towards an end result. But I didn’t start sewing until well into adulthood. Interior design was a second career for me, and I really started sewing because I had access to these amazing fabrics that I wanted to do something with. That’s what led to my handbag business.
Do you listen to music, podcasts, television or movies while you work on your crafts, if so can you give us a few of the artists, songs, shows, movies or podcast names you enjoy?
I turn on Rhapsody and get lost in music while I’m working. It is my time to check out new artists or delve into an album of someone I love. My taste is pretty varied, but I particularly love soothing singer-songwriters. Right now I can’t get enough of Katie Melua. Lana Del Ray, Cat Power and Norah Jones are stand-by classics!
Are there any crafters, artists or bloggers that you look up to, or ones that have inspired you throughout your journey?
My aunt was a career seamstress and went to a Dressmaker’s school in Japan. She made the most incredible clothes for my mother in the ’60’s. Overcoats with embroidered lapels, Chanel-looking skirt suits, formal ball gowns, my mother’s wedding dress… the list goes on. She made more clothes than my mother could wear! I was so lucky to receive a lot of these hand-me-downs.. its detailed work that you don’t find anymore, and this is where my love of fashion began. She made all of my sister’s and my homecoming and prom dresses. She was amazing. She gave me my first sewing machine, and is still my greatest source of inspiration!
What is your favorite thing to make?
A great CLUTCH! They can be super chique, or fun and funky, or simply beautiful…They are like crossing a T on your outfit.
Why do you think eco friendly and recycled crafts is so important?
There is so much waste that takes place in the world, even today as we have shifted globally towards a higher consciousness of this. My mother grew up in Japan during World War II, so I was brought up with a mindfulness of scarcity and waste. My friends thought we were weird because we hung our clothes out to dry in the back yard instead of using the electric dryer. We recycled and reused bottles and jars before it became a thing. We even recycled our paper napkins and used them to clean the floor. I love that I am able to take this mindset that I was raised with and put it towards my business, with the goal of bringing up-cycling to mainstream high fashion, and ultimately to a more conscientious consumer.
What inspires you when you are having a creative block?
I appreciate the beauty and artistic vision that goes into a fashion shoot… I can look at a Valantino ad and be transported to another world, another life. Leafing through an Elle Magazine absolutely gets my juices flowing!
Do you sell online only, or do you consign at local shops and sell at fairs and craft shows?
All of the above! I’ll be at lots of upcoming Craft Shows (check my Facebook page for details!) and I am also at the Solana Beach and La Jolla Farmer’s markets regularly.
Do You have any advice for recycled crafters that are dreaming of selling their creations?
Just do it! Getting your product out there is the first step. Take it one step at a time and don’t be overwhelmed by all there is to be done. The best advice I ever received was “As long as you are doing what you love, doors will open for you!”